‘Honeymoonish’ Review – An Endearing If Unusual Saccharine Rom-Com

By Lori Meek
Published: April 30, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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'Honeymoonish' Review - An Endearing If Unusual Saccharine Rom-Com
Honeymoonish | Image via Netflix
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Summary

This is the type of feel-good movie you should stream when in the mood for something a bit different.

Honeymoonish is the type of film you should approach with an open mind. It’s charming, well-acted, and features stunning scenery. But it’s also formulaic in giving us the Kuwait version of the enemies-to-lovers trope. Unlike in a traditional rom-com, the two protagonists start with a marriage of convenience and then build up on the love story side of things. 

The happy bride and groom whose honeymoon(ish) we’re centering on are Noor and Hamad. He’s an ambitious young man working for his father’s company. Unfortunately, the patriarch decided to pull the plug on one of Hamad’s major projects unless he found a wife and got her pregnant within the month. Even worse, if Hamad doesn’t fulfill his dad’s very reasonable demand, he’ll be unemployed and cut off from the will. Desperate, he asks his best friend, Wael, to help find him a bride. 

That’s where Noor comes in. She’s a fitness instructor madly in love with her boyfriend, Youssef. When Youssef tells Noor he’s going on a business trip only to get married to another girl, the young woman becomes desperate for revenge. So she asks her best friend, Amal, to find her a husband on short notice so she can make her ex jealous. 

As Wael and Amal are married to each other, the two introduce the wannabe bride and groom. While Noor and Hamad don’t even like each other after meeting for tea, they still go ahead with the wedding. 

During the honeymoon, Noor spends her time seeking out Youssef while Hamad tries not to consummate the marriage, which may or may not be incestuous. You see, Hamad’s mother babysat Noor when the pair were babies and she may have breastfed the girl five times, which would make the two milk siblings. However, siblings or not, neither Noor nor Hamad are particularly keen on their marriage. 

'Honeymoonish' Review - An Endearing If Unusual Saccharine Rom-Com

Honeymoonish (via Netflix)

Honeymoonish offers a glimpse into parts of Kuwaiti culture that viewed through a Western lens may seem rather unusual. The plot happens because the lead’s father demands he marry, which might raise an eyebrow or two. As for the female lead’s motives, some might describe her getting married to get back at her ex as a little extreme. However, setting aside the unfamiliar filial piety portrayed, this is quite a charming rom-com where two people find each other through circumstances (mostly) outside their control and grow to love one another in the process. 

Nour Al Ghandour and Mahmoud Boushahri have brilliant on-screen chemistry and excellent comedic timing. The two bounce well off each other and the film is at its best when showing the lead’s mishaps during their first few days of marriage. It’s the performances that make you root for the success of Noor and Hamad’s unconventional marriage, even when the jokes don’t land (I’m not convinced a V****a pill could cause anyone to start a middle-of-the-night workout session in their pajamas, but then again, I’ve never taken one). 


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